ALPHACAM: Felder’s “Preferred CAD/CAM Solution” For Complex ProgrammingWoodworking machinery specialists Felder UK are partnering with ALPHACAM software and cutting tool specialists to give customers a preferred one-stop solution for all CNC machining needs.
Chief Executive Matthew Applegarth says their Format 4 branded CNC machines are supplied with proprietary Woodflash software which is an ideal introduction to CNC machining, for creating simple programs and basic cabinet panels.
“But as we’ve expanded our CNC range, we’ve seen the need for more advanced software to provide our customers’ complex programming and nesting solutions. And this is done through ALPHACAM. We consider ourselves to be an industry leader for CNC machining centres, and as ALPHACAM is part of the world’s number one CAM vendor, Vero Software, we know it’s a proven CAD/CAM solution used extensively in the UK woodworking market, so the partnership works very well.”
Felder also collaborates with cutting tool suppliers Leitz UK and Cruing. “As Leitz tools are of the highest quality they’re ideal for our machines. And Cruing’s Aerotech tool is perfect for nesting, providing a good solution for panel production. Overall, this three-way combination of machine tool, cutting tool and software, gives our customers the best overall package from just one supplier.”
Operating out of recently refurbished 20,000 square foot premises in Milton Keynes, Felder UK provides a wide range of machinery in addition to CNC, including bandsaws, panel saws, spindle moulders, edgebanders, planer-thicknessers and material handling solutions. Their customer base is predominantly involved in furniture and panel production – fitted furniture and kitchen suppliers, through to cabinet makers for intricate and fine furniture, and general joinery companies making staircases, doors and windows.
The CNC range starts with the small H08 1325 8x4 flatbed router for 3-axis machining, going up to the H10 heavy industrial machines with automatic loading, offloading and through-feed production, along with 3, 4 and 5-axis pod and rail machining centres.
And they offer ALPHACAM as the preferred CAD/CAM solution across all levels. Matthew Applegarth says they have had “a great deal of success” with providing each of the three ALPHACAM modules – Essential, Advanced and Ultimate – as part of a complete package which also includes tooling, giving the customer a one-stop-shop solution. “It means furniture companies can really hit the ground running when investing in a CNC machine from us, rather than having to go to the CAD/CAM and tooling vendors separately.”
CNC Product Manager Richard Hird says customers who are new to ALPHACAM undertake training on both the software and the machine, and quickly learn the simple technique for importing different file types and getting them ready for machining.
“Then, on a day-to-day basis, many of our customers will have a concept or idea from their own customers as what they need to design, create and manufacture for them. Once the file is imported into ALPHACAM they simply put the toolpaths on, along with all the information needed for machining, and it then goes straight through as a TCN file all ready to run on the Format 4.”